Pages 473-474, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




DR. JOHN COURTNEY has been engaged in the practice of medicine in Allen county for twenty-two years. The world has little use for the misanthrope. The universal truth of brotherhood is widely recognized, also that he serves God best who serves his fellowmen. There is no profession or line of business that calls for greater self-sacrifice or more devoted attention than the medical profession, and the successful physician is he who through love of his fellowmen gives his time and attention to the relief of human suffering. Dr. Courtney is one of the ablest representatives of this noble calling in his adopted county.

A native of Kentucky he was born in Pendleton county, January 30, 1836, and is of Irish lineage. Thomas Courtney, his grandfather, was a native of Ireland, and when a young man crossed the Atlantic, becoming a resident of Pennsylvania. By trade he was both a glove-maker and tailor. Michael Courtney, the father of the Doctor, was born Pennsylvania, in 1794, and married Leanna McMurray, who was of Scotch parentage. They became the parents of seven sons and three daughters, and four of the sons served their country in the Union army, one laying down his life on the altar of freedom, while the others returned to their homes. One of these, Thomas, is now living in Indiana, while Marcellas is a resident of Arkansas. About 1850 the family removed to Indiana where the father of our subject died in 1875, at the ripe age of eighty-one years.

Dr. Courtney was a youth of twelve years when he accompanied his parents to the Hoosier state, acquiring his education in the common schools there and in the high schools at Leavenworth and Huntingburg, Indiana. From the former he was graduated, and after completing his studies he engaged in teaching until the Civil war, when he enlisted as a private in Company E, First Indiana Cavalry. After remaining twenty months with that command he received a commission as second lieutenant in Company E, Forty-fourth United States Colored Infantry, with which


he served for seven months, when, the war having ended, he received an honorable discharge. He was in several skirmishes and battles, and at the engagement at Peach Orchard had his horse shot from under him.

After the war Dr. Courtney took up the study of medicine under the direction of Dr. Vanduron, of English, Crawford county, Indiana, and in 1865 he located for practice in Newton-Steward, that state, where he remained for ten years. On the expiration of that period he went to Macoupin county, Illinois, where he practiced three years, and in 1878 he came to Kansas, locating in Cottage Grove township, on the present site of the town of Leanna, which was named in honor of his mother. He purchased forty acres of land, erected a good residence and has everything about his place in excellent condition, his home being surrounded by beautiful shade trees that stand guard over a well-kept lawn. From the time he located here up to the present, he has enjoyed a large and important practice. Thirty-six years experience have given him a high degree of skill and he holds enviable prestige in the ranks of the medical fraternity in Allen county.

The Doctor was married September 24, 1865, to Miss Martha Jane Foster of Tennessee. She was born in Jackson, that state, a daughter of William P. and Charlotte Foster, who removed to Indiana at the time of the Civil war, for they entertained strong sympathy for the Union cause and it was therefore unsafe for them to remain in the south. Mr. Foster died in 1881, at the age of eighty-one years, and his wife passed away in 1894, at the age of eighty-seven. Of their twelve children only four are now living, namely: Mrs. Courtney; Elizabeth, wife of J. A. Kellans; Mary, wife of Hiram Langford, and Welcome Foster, all of Newton-Steward, Indiana. Unto the Doctor and Mrs. Courtney have been born four children, three of whom survive, as follows: U. R., a teacher of Savonburg, Kansas; O. D., who is cashier of the State Bank of Savonburg, and A. Dieskau, a student in the normal school at Emporia. The family is one of prominence in the community, the sterling worth of its representatives gaining them the warm regard of many friends. In politics the Doctor is an unwavering Republican, believing fully in expansion and the protection of the American flag for which he fought on southern battle-fields, and which he is proud to know now floats over some of the islands of the sea as a symbol of protection and humanity.

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